Latina Ritual Project
The Latina Ritual Project brings together Westside Saint Paul natives and Latina musical powerhouses Maria Isa (Villa Rosa) and Adriana Rimpel (Malamanya). The project focuses on the continual growth and empowerment of women, capturing Afro-Latino music through all stages of production: song writing, audio recordings and live presentations in the Twin Cities and abroad. Maria and Adriana seek to collaborate with traditional Afro-Boricua musicians in the island of Puerto Rico along with local Twin Cities artists in the production of a original 5 song EP. The music will be influenced by traditional and contemporary Latin sounds, while showcasing the many facets of the modern day Latina.
While in Puerto Rico, Maria and Adriana will attend and connect with musicians at the annual Afro-Latin bomba and plena music festival Fiestas Tradicionales de Santiago Apóstol. Bomba music is a mixture of the three different cultures of the Island: Spanish, African and Taíno. “It’s a tool to bridge communities of color, including Latinos, to understand what being a Latino is,” explains Maria. Afro-Latino music is medicine that heals the pain of segregation; a segregation that began over 500 years ago. It embraces the African and indigenous heritage of our people, reflecting that Latino means more than just an influence of Spanish Europeans. “It connects us to our tribes and helps me recognize that I’m from an island mixed with many different things.”
“As Mestiza women, or women of mixed blood,” says Adriana,“we have the opportunity to demonstrate to many publics how Latinas can take a role of leadership through the arts. Through the basis of mutual respect we collaborate with both men and women, but we refuse to take a back seat in the creative process. This is our voice and we define who we are.”
The Latina Ritual Project honors the beautiful amalgamations of the Latino culture through traditional music while blending contemporary influences of hip-hop and R&B. By funding this project, you’ll support the creation of new Latina music in the Twin Cities and the empowerment of Latina voices in the arts.
Travel and lodging for this project has been secured through The Cedar's 416 Club Commission recipient Maria Isa. The Latina Ritual Project seeks additional funding for workshop fees in Puerto Rico, honoraria for teaching musicians and artists in Puerto Rico, and pre- and post-production costs for the EP to be released in Spring 2013. The recipients of the 416 Club Commissions will perform their new works on Sundays in January and February of 2013. Maria and Adriana will perform on January 20th.
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Malamanya are a Minneapolis-based six-piece band who celebrate the traditional rhythms and melodies of Cuban son, salsa, samba, and the country music of Central and Latin America. The group's acoustic driven dance rhythms draw on the organic form of simpler times; their onstage energy and compositions reflect the communal, complex, and celebratory spirit that runs through these musical forms. Convivial and contagious, they bring "el sabor" of times past into the present.
Adriana Rimpel-Lead Vocals
Tony Schriner-Upright Bass and Guitar
Trevor May-Tres and Guitar
Born and raised in the Twin Cities to Nuyorican parents, singer/songwriter/emcee Maria Isa learned at an early age the traditional Puerto Rican rhythms of Bomba and Plena. At the age of 14, she realized that she could fuse her love for Hip-Hop and R&B with her Latin roots. She recalls, "It made me feel at home! My family didn't just listen to one style of music. Now, through combining all of the musical elements that I love, & weaving in stories of the past, I invite everyone to push the boundaries, honoring and uniting all cultures."